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The WonderCube is a versatile keychain accessory that aims to provide emergency charging, storage, and much moreImage Gallery (7 images)

WonderCube is a 1-inch (2.5 cm) cube keyring that’s designed to function as a numerous accessories for your iOS or Android smartphone. The product, which is currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, promises to function as an emergency charger, a storage solution, an LED torch and more.

While the WonderCube packs a whole lot of functionality, its primary focus is keeping a user's smartphone charged. It’s flexible 3-inch (7.6 cm) foldout cable is available in both micro-USB and Lightning varieties, making it compatible with both the Android and recent iOS smartphones. The idea is that the device replaces the user’s charging cable, giving them one less thing to carry around.

Of course, it's sometimes not possible to plug your smartphone in to juice it up, but the WonderCube has you covered there as well. Opening up the top of the accessory reveals an adapter for a standard 9V battery. Clip one in, plug in your phone and you're promised another 3.5 hours of talk time.

The second major component of the WonderCube is its ability to provide users with extra storage via the inclusion of a microSD reader, supporting cards up to 64 GB. Direct file transfer between a smartphone and the accessory is currently only available with Android devices, but the crowdfunding campaign includes a stretch goal for the development of an iOS app.

As if that functionality wasn’t enough, the little device also packs a flashlight (3 mm or 0.1 inch wide LED with a 3 V button cell) and has a micro-suction cup plate on one side, meaning you can fix it to the back of a smartphone and use it as a stand. Lastly, there’s a full-sized USB connector, meaning the WonderCube can be used as a bridge to connect a smartphone to a computer for backing up or transferring files.

As the WonderCube is a crowdfunding effort, there’s no guarantee that it'll make it to market. However, if you’re interested in the little cube becoming a reality, you can make a pledge over on Indiegogo, where the project is aiming to raise US$50,000.

The $30 super early bird pledges are already sold out, with single WonderCubes now starting at $45. The team is targeting a $69 final retail price for the accessory, and assuming the campaign is successful, aims to ship initial units in August.

Take a look at the video below for more on the WonderCube.

Source: WonderCube


Power Up Your Smartphone Anywhere, Anytime With 
Sony's USB Portable Charger Range

When your smartphones run out of battery and there is no socket around to charge them then USB charger emerge as lifesavers.*Compatible with other devices including Xperia™, Cyber-shot™, Handycam® and Walkman® players

Great Charging Cycle

Thanks to the 'Hybrid Gel' technology, Sony polymer battery has high durability as it retains more than 90% of capacity at 1000 charges!

Faster Charging

Experience faster charging with Sony Portable Charger.Faster than Traditional charging method

Hybrid Gel Technology*

Unlike liquid type batteries, Sony uses 'Hybrid gel' as the electrolyte, which tightens the contact between cathode and anode for better charge/discharge cycle characteristics. This electrolyte material difference is the key to Sony's hybrid gel technology.* Ceramic Powder contained in Electrolyte before Gel
* Granted patent for solid-electrodes

Less Swelling And No Leakage

When choosing a product, safety and reliability are top priorities. Thanks to the 'Hybrid gel' technology, the Sony polymer battery prevents gas generation during charge/discharge cycles. Thus, you will experience less swelling and no leakage during the cycles.* Based on Sony's internal research of general liquid battery in Oct, 2014

Lithium-Polymer Rechargeable Battery

Contains Sony-manufactured lithium-polymer rechargeable battery which ensures safety and longer 

Universal Usage

Most of the USB chargeable products can be charged


The Ampere sleeve is all ready and waiting for Kickstarter support.Aloysius Low/CNET

There are plenty of wireless charging kits for your smartphone on the market today, but Singapore-based, California-incorporated startup Novelsys hopes you'll take a look at what they'll be offering onKickstarter for $79 (this converts to about £50 or AU$100).

The Ampere is a compact wireless charger that solves a lot of problems with other portable solutions. It's a sleeve design that also serves as phone holder, meaning you don't need to use any workarounds to keep your phone connected to the wireless charging station. The Ampere is also slim enough to fit in your pocket alongside your phone. It's a universal solution for both iOS and Android phones.

Powered by a 2,700mAh battery, which, to be honest, isn't much. The leather-clad Ampere is just 0.6-inches thick (15mm). The powerbank can also charge another device using a wire simultaneously, though this will drain the small battery even faster.

Each powerbank comes with a special wireless reciever patch. For iPhone users, you'll get a slim case as well, and it's designed in a manner to let you easily and quickly free up the Lightning port should you need to use it. Samsung users will just need to attach a patch to the inside of their cases to enable wireless charging. Nexus and Nokia Lumia handsets with built-in Qi wireless charging will have no need for the patch.

To keep things interesting, Novelsys has also developed a nifty companion app for the Ampere. This app lets you monitor battery levels of the powerbank, control when charging starts and even use your phone to locate the powerbank should you misplace it.

I spoke to Novelsys's CEO Kenneth Lou, who showed me the prototype designs as well as an almost finished product, and I was impressed with the build quality so far. Lou says the company will be keeping production in Singapore, to ensure quality control, as opposed to manufacturing it in China.

To back this project, you can head over to their Kickstarter page here. 100 early birds will be able to purchase the Ampere at a discounted $59. Novelsys is hoping to raise $60,000 during the month-long campaign, with the funds used for ordering components as well set up an assembly line for the manufacturing process.



Rico gives your old smartphone a job in home security

The Rico uses a spare smartphone as its brain and eyesImage Gallery 
(8 images)

Almost every day, it seems, breakfast is accompanied by the debut of a next generation smartphone that makes our perfectly capable current models look positively antiquated. Whether you patiently wait for the end of your contract before upgrading or contact your provider straight away, you're existing pocket pal will likely be retired to a powered off eternity in an infrequently opened drawer somewhere. The folks over at Mindhelix want to give that old phone a new lease of life in the Rico home security and monitoring system.

To put the toy-like Rico to work, a spare smartphone running Android 2.2 or iOS 6 and above will need a side app downloading and installing. The smartphone can then be placed within the Rico's colorful housing. Though larger phones and phablets will be too big to be used, anything with a 4.5-inch screen or smaller should be OK. The Rico unit is connected to a wall outlet and cables inside the housing ensure that the smartphone within is always charged.

Mindhelix says that the new hybrid device that results could have a combined feature set that includes a HD camera, microphone, integrated speaker, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and sensors that monitor humidity, temperature, air quality, carbon monoxide and motion.

Loading the companion iOS/Android app onto your current smartphone allows you to remotely connect with the Rico for a live stream of your living room or office and receive event notifications via Rico cloud servers hosted on Amazon Web Services. Users will even receive an alert if the Rico loses power or Wi-Fi.

"The smartphone has an incredibly powerful processor that we can use to do really cool things in the near future like image processing, voice recognition and voice commands," CEO Kallidil Kalidasan told us. "Also, all of the above features can be pushed to the users via a simple app upgrade, when traditional smarthome devices would require a core hardware firmware upgrade. These app updates can be developed much easier and also the existing app developer community can join us in the process, unlike the rigid firmware level upgrade system that traditional smarthome devices have."

The Rico package will also come with smart-sockets, which cater for home appliance control via the app – such as switching on the lights or TV while you're at the restaurant, for example.

Mindhelix currently has a working prototype of the Rico device and a companion app in the bag, but has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the final push to full production. There are three brightly-colored Rico units to choose from, though the developers are also offering a special pledge level for a Kickstarter green model. As of writing, backers can pledge US$100 for an early bird Rico and one smart-socket. If all goes to plan, the first packages will be shipped in November 2015.

Have a look at the pitch video below for an overview of how the system works.

Sources: Mindhelix, Kickstarter



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